The demise of the first time buyer and the rise of the last time buyer

Published: 24/08/2015

There’s been a changing pattern in the UK housing market in 2015. During the first half of this year more retirement homes were built than in the whole of 2014 according to figures released by the National Housebuilding Council (NHBC). However, despite that significant increase there is still a shortage of suitable housing for the elderly. With an aging population increasing numbers of older people are trapped in family housing, unwilling to move because of the lack of retirement housing.

Specialist builders who have traditionally focused their activity on the older generation are now being joined by mainstream builders who, seeing the opportunities presented by an active ageing population, are focusing the marketing of their properties on that generation rather than first time buyers.

Indeed the first time buyer market is continuing to shrink with reports that, despite making compromises on the characteristics of a property and saving hard, the proportion of tenants expecting to buy their first home in 2015 has halved compared with 2014 to less than 10%.

Head of Property Lynne McCaffrey comments:

“It remains a tough market in which to buy your first home and the shift in focus of builders from first time buyers to last time buyers is one factor contributing to this tough market. Recently there’s been a great deal of coverage of the appeal of buy to let property to this older generation, some of whom are looking to purchase buy to let property to bolster their retirement income.

“Whilst the rise of the last time buyer hasn’t totally sealed the demise of the first time buyer it’s clear that the housing market is undergoing some fundamental change.”

Content correct at time of publication

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